TSCRA Govt Affairs Roundup: Policy Conference, eminent domain reform and WOTUS
TSCRA government and public affairs staff have been busy this week preparing for TSCRA’s annual policy conference. This year it is to be held Sept. 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines near Bastrop. The conference allows TSCRA members to review and develop the policies that guide staff on how to approach essential issues in both Austin and Washington, D.C. The conference also promises to provide a great deal of insight into government and politics, ranging from the general election in November to the 86th Texas Legislative Session that begins in January.
TSCRA staff are continuing to meet with Texas legislators and their staff to discuss eminent domain reform. The issue will be a major priority for the association in the upcoming legislative session and will also be highlighted at next week’s conference.
We’ve also been made aware that two interim hearings on the issue of eminent domain reform have proposed for Oct. 2, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Oct. 3, in the Corpus Christi area. Details of the time and location have not yet been released, but please mark your calendars and make plans to attend so you can share your concerns and experiences on eminent domain. We will provide additional details as they come available.
On Thursday, landowners got an important victory in preventing the implementation of the 2015 “Waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, rule. Thanks to a ruling of the U.S. District Court in Galveston, the rule will not take effect in Texas, Louisiana or Mississippi. Despite the victory, TSCRA staff are continuing to closely monitor the situation and advocate for the full and final repeal of the onerous, Obama-era rule.
TSCRA staff have already been engaged with state and federal disaster response agencies as we monitor two tropical weather systems in the Gulf that are likely to bring heavy rain to Texas this weekend and later next week. Please ensure you are prepared in the event of heavy rain and flooding. Details are available at http://www.tahc.texas.gov/emergency/index.html
Finally, TSCRA leaders and staff were also at Ranch Gatherings at Ozona, Goldthwaite and Uvalde this week to provide updates on current governmental and political issues.